Whatever happens to health reform before 2012, we’ll be back soon for other rounds of both delivery and finance reform.
One huge set of problems concern long-term care. Individuals risk losing their lifesavings if they contract dementia or heart failure and require prolonged nursing home care. For a variety of reasons, private insurance is inherently ill-suited to this market and is not working well. Less than 4 percent of American adults have long-term care insurance. Meanwhile states are struggling with Medicaid costs and, in some cases, are announcing punishing cuts. The new CLASS act will be valuable, but will not resolve many important issues for the current and future disabled. Moreover, I and many other health policy wonks are concerned about the political and administrative challenges facing this new program.
In short, our current system of financing and delivering long-term care is in serious trouble. See my latest Kaiser Health News column for more….